Well, this is it. The very issue that you’re holding in your hands marks two years to the day that I started being a guest columnist in this paper. I remember walking in the sentinel office 24 months ago with an idea to pitch to Lisa for an article. I ran my first one and people were truly inspired as I talked about leaving a legacy behind when you leave this world. I honestly thought at first that I’d do this a couple of times and walk away. However, I stuck it out and here we are two years later going on three and I’m still just as motivated and inspired as I’ve ever been.
So I wanted to use this column as a thank you to everyone who’s been a part of this journey. Lisa, Jessica and Doug. Thank you for giving me a chance to express myself in your newspaper. There’s a lot better writers out there than me. There’s a lot better with words and grammar than I am. But, you allowed me the chance to speak from the heart which is the only way I know how to be. I’m eternally grateful for this opportunity to be read weekly by hundreds if not thousands of people. You all are sincere stand up people and run a great newspaper, I’m just glad I’m a part of it.
I’d be lacking if I didn’t mention all of the other columnists that I share the pages with. Gary Miller, your outdoor truths column is always a great read. You have a gift and your light always shines through what you say. I hope you stay a part of this paper for a long time. Eddie Dean, your “Stories you & I want to tell” is always thought provoking and often hilarious. I make it a point every week you’re in the paper to read the old stories you share. Betty Crabtree, your different view column is so sweet and sincere. I love reading your thoughts and opinions you share, you’re one blessed lady with a writing talent for sure. Billy Holland, your columns are joyful filled with spiritual thoughts and ideas. You’re a talented writer, with a god given gift that you use. Deron, you’re a sports historian. Enough said! Very good stuff!
You see, I’m surrounded on these pages with a host of talented men and women. You all deserve more credit for a job well done all year long. I’m honored to be on the same pages with you all!
Next, a major thank you to my friends and family for helping me believe in following my dreams. You all have been my support system since day one. You all are the reason I’ve chased this dream of writing for all of these years and stuck with it. My teachers from back in the day at OCHS, you built a love for reading and writing in me from the ground up. You took a kid who was nervous to even speak in public and watched me blossom into the man I am today full of sincerity and life. Owsley County had great teachers when I was in school and they’re still great ones that teach now. I know somewhere in one of these classrooms there’s a kid who wants to be a writer and follow their dream. For them, that dream at times might seem out of reach because it once did for me too. If you’d told me 25 months ago that I’d have written a column for two years in the newspaper, I’d called you crazy. But I went all in and bet on myself, I pushed all my chips on the table and let it ride. I wrote my first column and did the best I could and shared it with all of you. If I didn’t take that first step, I wouldn’t be here right now talking about two years.
Lastly, all of you guys and girls who read this every week. To you, this paper might seem like nothing more than a casual flip through for .50 cents and throw it away. But there’s so much work behind the scenes that we all put in making this newspaper the best it can be. But you all buy these papers, you support us and I thank you for that. For all the facebook messages wanting out of state subscriptions just to read my column, to the people who stop me in the street or stop and tell my mom how much they enjoy it, you’re the reason I do this and will keep doing it as long as God let’s me.
So, happy anniversary to me! There’s no cake, no ice cream, not even Pepsi. This anniversary is taking place down in the vessels of my heart, where the love I have for each and every one of you will never fade out. This isn’t just about me, I’m blessed enough already. This is about all of us, because we’re all in this together and sticking together is the only way we’re going to make it through this dark world. Two years down, let’s go for twenty! See you in the paper! I love you all more than you’ll ever know. Thanks for letting me live my dream and continue supporting not just me, but all of us. Thank you!